Objects of contempt
Your July 16 editorial, Cabinet shuffle not enough, attacks the Conservative government by stating it has treated the media and, by extension, the general public with contempt.
Maybe, but when the media stop being unbiased and deliver partisan pieces disguised as news and editorials, perhaps the media should be treated with some contempt.
Harper, like most politicians, has made some mistakes. He has also made some stupid decisions. But they are hardly the transgressions too long to list as described in the editorial. But, then again, exaggeration and hyperbole have always been the ready tools of the press.
Also, I do not want to burst someone's bubble or disillusion them. But the general public has never been an extension of the media or vice versa.
Your editorial was too kind, in my opinion. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have had a dictatorial-style government since being elected.
I do not see any of Harper's grasp on power being softened. In fact, if the latest so-called enemies list is any indication, they will dig in their heels, and controls will become more stringent leading up to the election.
I am relieved to see you have temporarily suspended shilling for the Harper Conservative government.
The Free Press may again become the organ for progressive politics in Canada instead of being transplanted out in right field.
Dashing the dreams
Re: Fletcher odd man out in cabinet switch (July 16). I wish I had a direct line to Stephen Harper to tell him what a blunder he made in removing Steven Fletcher, a re-elected MP at 41, from his cabinet.
Looking for younger (huh, he is) and female (what are we, a minority that is now finally "strong and capable")?
Having worked as a special-education teacher and in resource counselling and research, I believe that Harper has dashed the dreams and aspirations of many people with imperfect bodies or any kind of learning disability.
Would he give the boot to Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, who is dyslexic? How would Helen Keller fare in a Harper cabinet shuffle?
Thanks for the July 16 photo of Shelly Glover arriving on Parliament Hill to be sworn in as heritage minister.
I'm so happy that some of her family were able to be there with her. All I can hope is that they paid their own way there and didn't resort to using her pass or the Aeroplan points that she earned flitting back and forth on our dime.
It's a good job she backed down from Elections Canada last month, otherwise she could have kissed off the $76,000 (plus car, etc.) pay increase she got on July 15. Let's hope her new company car doesn't have red-and-blue lights on top.
Solution under our noses
Re: Off-the-street smarts (July 13). It is heartening to read of the good work being done at the Lord Selkirk Park Childcare Centre. The impressive research outcomes associated with the Abecedarian Approach to enrich marginalized children's development is exactly the kind of evidence-based intervention that should inform government policy and attract solid funding.
So much has been written about the possible future calamities associated with our aging population, shrinking tax base and fewer workers to support Canadian seniors. And yet there lies right under our noses a rich resource to invest in and build upon: the children of First Nations and newcomers who have a healthy and robust birthrate.
If our government came to see the potential of this cohort and invest in its development with a similar zeal as other public investments (such as the oilsands, for instance), our society would have a truly sustainable long-term solution to our demographic imbalances.
This would not only bolster the long-term health of the Canadian economy but also enrich society. The well-being of disenfranchised populations affects the very soul of a civilized society and the question "who is our neighbour?" needs to be answered with broad inclusion and care of all Canadians.
Such focus and investment would not only address some of the structural injustices of Canadian society but also make good economic sense.
A better cash grab
My cat has a tattoo in its ear. That identifies her. She does not need or want a licence or a restricting collar, especially when she hardly ever leaves the house and never leaves the yard.
A cat licence is an obvious cash grab that's unnecessary. If the city is simply looking for money, bicycle licences are a smarter way to go.
A bicycle does leave the yard and does go play in traffic and needs insurance coverage like any moving vehicle. Every bicycle should have a licence to cover the cost of liability for the rider. It would also identify every stolen bicycle, because the serial number would be registered with the licence.
The issue is waste
In her July 15 letter, Too broad a brush, Carole Clark rightly points out that Canada has more miles of highway per capita than the U.K. or the U.S., therefore our dollars have further to go.
She asks, "Where is the money to come from if we do not raise the PST and other taxes?" The need is not in raising taxes, but in being more frugal with the taxes on hand. It is no secret that our governments, on all levels, have been wasteful.
The careless abandon with which our leaders have squandered our tax dollars has led to our present situation. I could not afford, personally, to follow their lead.
Away with the zombies
Re: Dump Brown: activist (July 16). It is very refreshing to see that there are still some people left who are not celebrity or sports zombies. Abuse is horrific.